Aviation Security Summit General Session IV
International Aviation Security – A Global Perspective
Moderator: Benjamin DeCosta, A.A.E.
John Halinski, Asst., Administrator, Global Strategies, TSA
Zohar Gefen, Manager, Security Division, Ben-Gurion Airport
James LoBello, Cargo Security – America’s Region, Lufthansa Cargo AG
(written in real-time during the session – please forgive grammatical and structure errors – comments are paraphrased, unless enclosed in quotes)
Halinski: TSA has approximately 250 individuals operating overseas and a mandate to promote the implementation of global transportation security processes, while ensuring compliance with worldwide and TSA standards. Mission areas include: Compliance, Engagement/ Outreach, Capacity Development.
The key to fulfilling this mission is developing good relationships with the host government. TSA can’t tell the host government what to do.
There are several U.S. regulations that address foreign aviation security, including:
49 US Code 44934 (TSA Representative Program) resulting from Pan Am 103 in 1988
49 US Code 44907 (Foreign Airport Assessment), resulting from TWA 847 in 1985
44916: Foreign Air Carrier Inspections
49 US Code 44924 Repair Stations
49 US Code 44906 Foreign Air Carrier
Part 1546 Foreign Air Carriers
Liquids and Gels (LAGs): TSA is working with the European Union and pilot programs with respect to screening LAGs – attempting to balance security with facilitation – “is there an ability to use a risk-based methodology.”
Staff screening: two schools of thought – single point of failure, vs. holistic approach to insider threat. ICAO is soon to come out with a staff screening requirement, but TSA believes that’s a single-point-of-failure, and that instead, we should have a layered affect, with background checks, random searches, etc.
Cargo: TSA is working closely with ICAO on transshipment cargo. Currently attempting to define high risk cargo, and how to phase realistic Standards and Recommended Practices that don’t kill the industry. “It’s not just about the regulators, it’s about business.”
National Cargo Security Program Recognition: looking at how foreign governments are doing cargo, then accepting their procedures if they are acceptable.
A 100% inbound cargo strategy is based on a risk based model. We will have to “sell” this, whatever process TSA develops, to the world, since we cannot mandate what foreign governments do – we can only mandate what U.S. air carriers do.
AIT/body scanners: TSA has moved forward with deployment – the EU is deploying the millimeter wave. We are seeing that body scanners are becoming much more accepted world wide.
Gefen: Ben Gurion is a medium sized airport, conducting about 12 million enplanements per year.
Passenger security in Ben Gurion is only one part of airport security. The main objective is to prevent explosion or hijacking on an airplane departing from Israel. Ben Gurion must also keep an eye towards budget, image and customer service.
There are four levels of security: a supportive infrastructure, state of the art technologies, regulations and the human factot (well trained and educated security personnel).
Passenger security starts with a short interview done by a security agent to determine the level of threat – we have several levels of threat. We use various materials and protocols, along with detection of suspicious behaviors. We check bags through CT scanners according to the level of security of the passenger. The process ends with passenger inspection before entering the sterile zone.
In the next few years, expect some changes to the passenger process in Ben Gurion – known as “the advanced technology concept,” which means implementing a holistic security solution, blending our human factor processes and technologies.
Gefen believes that there is nothing better than the “eye and touch” of a human security agent.
LoBello: noted that unlike passenger and baggage screening, air cargo screening is the responsibility of the air carrier.
The need for mutual recognition – ensure that air cargo is protected within various and changing government mandates; supply chain focus means securing ‘once,’ at the origin, having reliable partners and use of existing programs. The final focus is on technology and training.
The screening of air cargo is significantly more complicated than baggage – passenger bags are transported to security, prepare for security, with simple, density, definitive single commodity security clearing. Cargo is the complete opposite.
Ben DeCosta opened up the issue of Duty Free, liquors, and perfumes so that individuals are better able to buy and transport these items, without losing them at screening checkpoints. Halinski said that the EU has established 4 different types of technologies, from the most intrusive (open the bottle and pass a test-strip into it), to technology that allows you to keep your bottle(s) in the bag. However, he pointed out that airports tend to buy the cheapest technology, rather than the most effective.
TSA’s response to the duty free and LAGS issue is to conduct pilot-programs and see what works.
Gefen was asked about his impression of U.S. TSO’s – he adroitly deflected the question, “I’m not in a position to criticize the TSA.” However, DeCosta followed up by asking how Israel manages to do the security process and not only provide customer service, but make the passenger feel safe (something the U.S. TSA has been criticized for in the past).
Gefen responded that not everyone has to go through the exact same process but that it looks like everyone goes through the same process – not everyone takes off their shoes, but only a few selected people. However, they are moving to a single technology system that will check everyone the same, but (apparently) retain the risk based processes that are currently in use. (Author’s Note: language barriers here prevented a clear understanding of where Israel is going in the future of screening).